Life-threatening weather with extreme wind chill and subzero temperatures had the weather service on high alert for record breaking, historical numbers at the end of January. Chicago had a subzero temperature for 52 straight hours. The frigid marathon beat out the last subzero streak in 2014 by 14 hours. Although no all time records were broken in Illinois the low temperature of -23 was close to clipping the record of -27° On January 20, 1985.
Along with the record breaking temperatures came devastation to many homeowners in the area. With the frigid temperatures many waterlines broke in homes, as well as sprinkler systems in many businesses in our area busting. Our professionally trained staff were on high alert and responding quickly to calls for help. After the temperatures rose again and all the snow melted homeowners experiences basement flooding. Our professions are trained to respond quickly and put your mind at ease
Remember SERVPRO of Frankfort is here and ready to help when Illinois throws us any kind of storm,
Icicles are pretty when looking at on your home during the winter months, however they can be dangerous to you, your home and your wallet. The obvious dangers are falling icicles and gutters detaching from your home due to the weight of the ice, but more importantly water can build up behind the icicles and enter your home. This can rot the wood in your roof and attic, possibly without your knowledge. It can also seep through and ruin ceilings and walls.
Ice damming is caused by too much heat in the attic. If the temperature in the attic is above freezing and there is snow on the roof, the snow melts. When the snow melts, the water runs into the gutter. Since the gutter is not above the house where it can be heated, the water re-freezes into ice. As ice gets thicker it stops the water as it runs down the roof, making an ice dam. The water coming down the roof will eventually build up until it’s over the actual house again and does not re-freeze because it it is warmed by the attic. As the water gets deep enough behind the ice dam it pushes up under the shingles and into the house.
Removing as much of the ice as you can will help prevent this. Keeping watch of your attic is recommended. If you should find water coming in through the roof give SERVPRO of Frankfort a call right away. We can help reduce the damages and stop the water from spreading and affecting other areas of your home,
Myth: I receive flood insurance through my homeowners insurance.
Fact: Homeowners insurance policies do not normally cover flood damage. You must purchase a separate Federal flood policy.
Myth: Even if my property does flood, it wouldn’t be very much.
Fact: Just 5 inches of water can cause over $25,000 worth of damage.
Myth:Only those who live in a Special Flood Hazard Area can buy flood insurance.
Fact:Floods can happen anywhere. Anyone can buy flood insurance.
Myth: I don’t need flood insurance if I can get disaster assistance from FEMA.
Fact: A flood insurance policy response to flood events that may not be severe enough to result in a presidential disaster declaration. Before FEMA assistance becomes available, the flooding incident must be severe enough declared a federal disaster by the president. Federal disaster declaration are issued in less than 50% of flooding events.
To get more flood insurance facts, visit Floodsmart.gov or call your local insurance agent
Winter storms bring the possibility of power outages. Be prepared with these 5 helpful tips.
Heating: Whole-house heating is difficult during a power outage. Even fireplaces will heat only one room. Do not light barbecues or propane heaters indoors; doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, look for propane heaters that are rated as indoor-safe or bundle up with blankets and coats.
Lighting: Battery powered lights are always safest. However, candles and hurricane-style kerosene lamps can also be used indoors.10
Food and Water: As soon as you lose power, begin filling all available containers with tap water. Cooking pans and even sinks can be filled up. If the municipal water source stops flowing, this will be your water for daily use. Canned foods and dry food that does not require cooking are best for long power outages.
Refrigeration: You can keep food cool longer by shifting easily spoiled food from the refrigerator (eggs, greens, meat, seafood, etc.) to the freezer. Once you have made the transition, avoid opening the freezer door if possible.
Entertainment: If the power outage continues for days, you will need entertainment that does not depend on electricity. Cards, books, and games are just a few of the activities people tend to turn to when the electricity has failed.
The Most Common Causes Of Storm Damage to Your Home
Fallen Trees - There are many reasons a tree might fall, and whether or not it caused damage to property becomes important for the purpose of paying a claim. Different policies offer different types of coverage.
Ice dams forming on the roof
Weight of snow and ice on the roof causing damage
Wind damage (Which can include fallen trees and shingles or bricks flying off buildings and roofs)
Loss or displacement due to power failure (which may include food loss, depending on your type of policy)
Flooding due to melting snow, a sudden thaw, or excessive rainfall
Water infiltration into the home. This may or may not be covered depending on how the damage is happening. Always call to find out what you might be eligible for.
Although not all damages are covered by standard insurance, most of the above items are.
The major exception to most policies isflood damage. Flood damage is not usually covered by the home insurance company in the United States; you can find out more about national flood insuranceon the FEMA website.
1. Protect your pipes. Frozen pipes are among the most common causes of cold-weather damage. Start by wrapping basement and crawl-space pipes with insulation. During protracted cold snaps, open cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from the faucets to prevent pressure from building up.
2. Reduce your polar ice cap. Roof ice dams caused by melting and refreezing can cause water damage to walls and ceilings. To minimize the danger, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. Use a roof rake ($40 to $60 at Home Depot) to remove packed snow from your roof (don’t try to shovel your roof yourself). For more tips on how to protect your home, go to the Web sites of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
3. Prepare an emergency kit (or two). Keep one in your house and one in your car, suggests Tod Pritchard, of Wisconsin Emergency Management. Include shovels and road salt (or cat litter); first-aid items; food, water and medications; a cell-phone charger that plugs into your car; a battery-powered radio and a flashlight (with extra batteries); a sleeping bag; insurance and emergency information; and some cash. You can get pre-made kits at the Red Cross Store. Also, keep your gas tank at least half-full all winter.
4. Install a home generator. Many insurers offer discounts for automatic backup generators (usually powered by natural gas or propane). A 7-kilowatt standby generator costs about $2,000 (not including installation) and can power a sump pump, a fridge, a heating system, a few lights and some electronics. Many manufacturers have online tools to help you decide how much power you need. A portable generator costs less than $800 for 7 kilowatts, but it probably won’t qualify for an insurance discount.
5. Get your insurer to pitch in. After all, the insurer saves money when you protect your home. Adding stormproof shutters may reduce your premiums by up to 35%. Snowbirds and frequent travelers, take note: You could get a break for installing a device that automatically shuts off your home’s water supply if it detects unusually high water flow—say, from a burst pipe ($499 at Home Depot).
6. Make sure you’re really covered. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water that seeps into your home from melting snow. For that you’ll need flood coverage; get price quotes at www.floodsmart.gov. Snow melt can also overburden the stormwater system; it usually costs just $50 per year to add a $10,000 to $20,000 sewage-backup rider to your home policy that pays if your sump pump stops working or your sewer line backs up. A battery-powered backup sump pump can help, too ($140 to $280 at Home Depot).
7. Stay warm safely. One of the biggest dangers from furnaces and other sources of heat is carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper ventilation. Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Also, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.
SERVPRO’s Storm Response Team Offers Tips to Help Minimize Flood Damage | SERVPRO Industries, Inc.
The first several days after the disaster are critical to preventing unnecessary secondary damages. Consider the following steps you can take now to help minimize additional damage to your home, business and possessions. If the water is considered “clean” water – if it is not groundwater or sewage backup – follow these steps: Once the authorities have said it is safe to enter your home or business, ensure your electricity is turned off before entering the flooded structure. Remove and prop wet upholstery and pillow cushions for drying. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Remove any valuable paintings and art objects to a safe, dry place. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. For this type of damage, avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible. Take the greatest caution while entering your home, and wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing when dealing with flooded areas. Through away all foods – even canned goods – that have come into contact with flood waters. SERVPRO has shipped more than $5 million worth of additional equipment to its Storm Response Team to help deal with the flooding. “The first 24 hours after a water damage or flood are just so crucial to keeping final costs of the damage down,” said Don Turner, SERVPRO Storm Response Team Manager. “A lot of flood situations require professional equipment and knowledge of the science of drying to mitigate, but we want homeowners to know the steps they can take to help minimize damage until the professionals arrive.” SERVPRO has recently mobilized its elite Storm Response Team for such disasters as Hurricane Gustav, the 2008 Iowa floods, the 2007 Ohio floods and the 2007 California wildfires. For more safety and restoration tips, contact SERVPRO of Frankfort at (815)485-0075.
Now is the time to prepare....Don't wait until severe storms are forecast....it may be too late!!
Preparedness Saves Lives
There is nothing we can do to stop severe thunderstorms, lightening, tornadoes or floods from developing. However, there are things that everyone can do to minimize the impacts of severe weather on our lives.
What you can do to be prepared:
1. Stay informed
This can be done by monitoring a weather alert radio, local radio & TV broadcasts, NWS, web pages or various applications on computers and smart phones.
Don't just rely on one method-especially storm sirens- which are not designed to be heard indoors by everyone.
2. Have an emergency plan
Do this for your home, business, schools and when you are traveling. Designate places to go to seek safe shelter from a tornado or severe thunderstorm. Pick two places to meet in case you are separated from your family or co-workers.
3. Prepare yourself and your home for an emergency
Learn how to use a fire extinguisher, how to administer CPR, and how to turn off electricity, gas and water supplies in your home.
We in the Chicagoland area are all too familiar with winter storms. A winter storm can bring dangerously low temperatures and leave you stranded in your car. Travel safely this year by taking these 5 steps:
For starters, don’t travel if a storm is likely to hit your area. If you must travel by car, let a family member or friend know you’ll be on the road and have them check in with you to be sure you arrived at your destination as planned.
Carry an emergency kit in your vehicle with the following: a shovel, sand for traction, a blanket and extra warm clothing such as a winter hat and gloves, and a portable cell phone charger.
Be sure your wiper blades are working good. Wiper blades should be replaced every 6 months to one year, or as soon as you notice a decrease in driving visibility.
Make sure your car’s washer fluid is well filled. It’s worth taking a peek under the hood of your vehicle to see how much fluid you have; if you wait for the warning light to come on you may run out before you can make it to your destination. At the very least, stop at a gas station and fill up with washer fluid if your car’s washer fluid warning light does come on. Follow this link if you have never filled your car’s washer fluid to see how it’s done: https://youtu.be/vboG7lRgE7s.
Check your tires for adequate traction. You can use a tread depth gauge, or if you don't have one, you can use a penny; just insert a penny into the tire tread grooves with Lincoln's head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, your tires are at 2/32nds of an inch or less of remaining tread and need to be replaced right away.
Major winter storms can cause big problems for those who are unprepared. Take action this year and be prepared ahead of time.
Be Ready - With a Disaster Preparedness Check List for Your Frankfort Home
Be ready for a local disaster with this emergency supply check list. Exact needs will vary somewhat depending on what region of the country you live in and your particular circumstances, so check with your local emergency management services at www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/emergency-preparedness-response/ems for local recommendations.
Keep at least 3 gallons of clean drinking water per person in your household
Keep 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food for everyone in your household
Enough blankets or sleeping bags, some extra cloths and shoes
At least $1,000.00 cash
Map (don’t depend on your GPS)
Can opener or multi-tool
Wrench and pliers
List of emergency contacts
Matches or a lighter
A container for prescription medications
Mobile phone charger
Whistle or flare gun
Update and renew the supplies on this list annually.
Don't find out the hard way if you should have gotten flood insurance.
Homeowners are often surprised, rather unpleasantly, to find out that they do not have flood insurance. In fact, over 75% of homeowner’s find out too late that they should have gotten flood insurance, but didn’t.
Your realtor is supposed to make sure you, the home buyer, is made aware if your newly purchased home is in a flood zone. If your realtor did not inform you either way, call him or her up and ask! You can also check to see if your house is in a flood zone by creating a free account on FreeFlood.net and search for your property there.
If you find out that your property is located in or near a flood zone, you can also check out FloodSmart.gov, where you can get a ballpark estimate on how much flood insurance will cost you.
The most common flood insurance available is offered through a federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), managed by FEMA, offers flood insurance to homeowners in communities that participate in the program.
NIFP has two policies: One that covers your actual home (building property), and one that covers your personal property. Premiums vary depending on your property's flood risk. You’ll have to get your flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FloodSmart.gov can also help you find an agent if need be.
How quickly your Frankfort company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today
The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency.
Did you know that September is National Preparedness Month? In recent years the United States has been affected by many different types of disasters including flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes (like Harvey and Erma), wildfires, blizzards, and more. These natural disasters can threaten your home, business and community. During National Preparedness Month, SERVPRO of Frankfort wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for mother nature’s worst.
How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your
organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today
will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for
survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.
Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you
will do in an emergency situation?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Do you have an evacuation and sheltering- place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?
Practice the Emergency Plan
Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?
Review Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down?
Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness
Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business.
Protect Yourself and Your Home During a Frankfort Storm
Find out about weather warnings in effect in your region or in the area where you are planning to travel. Take such warnings into account when you plan your activities.
Prepare yourself when a windstorm is forecast
When the meteorological service forecasts a windstorm, fasten anything that can be blown away outside your home to prevent dangerous situations and injuries.
Postpone all unnecessary travel. If you absolutely have to travel, visit a web site like wather.com to find out about weather travel warnings.
Take precautions during extreme windstorms
Follow these tips in the event of extreme windstorms or events such as tornadoes:
If you can shelter in a building.
Take refuge in your house, preferably in the basement.
Take refuge in a solid building that can withstand strong winds.
Stay far away from doors and windows and keep your back to them.
Do not use the elevator in a building.
Evacuate in a timely manner your mobile home or any other shelter that the wind could sweep away. Also evacuate your home if you receive evacuation instructions from the authorities.
If you cannot take shelter in a building:
Take refuge in a ditch or other depression in the ground, lie face down on the ground and protect your head with your hands.
Avoid taking shelter under a bridge, viaduct or overpass, since winds are more intense there.
After a windstorm, make your environment safe
Barricade the windows
Lock the doors
Cover damaged areas
Make sure that your home is safe after a windstorm. Inspect the premises for damage.
Check the roof.
Check structures that might have been weakened, such as the shed.
Pick up debris scattered by the wind.
Never touch downed power lines or electrical installations. Call Hydro-Québec at 1 800 790-2424 if you notice a downed power line.
If windstorms have damaged your home inform:
Your insurer, to have the damage recorded
The financial institution that granted you a mortgage loan, to declare the damage
Increase the security of your home to keep away looters and inquisitive individuals if extensive work must be carried out before you can return to your home. Be sure to:
CALL SERVPRO of Frankfort. SERVPRO responds immediately to your flood and storm damage emergencies. We have the storm damage restoration experience and specialized equipment to restore your Morris home or business back to pre-storm condition. Call (815) 485-6901.